Time to upgrade your Spa Retail Area

Although not all spas have a dedicated spa shop, most spas have retail space, most often in the reception area. There is a lot you can do to enhance this area and by that almost automatically increase your retail sales.

How to do this?

First of all; Step out of your “own box”. Enter your spa and look at it critically, from a guest point of view. What do you see? Do you get curious when you see the retail section? Does it look attractive and inspiring?

When it comes to selection of retail items I always try to look at it as a palette of eye- shadows. Many years ago, working for L’oréal, we talked about how to create interest for the makeup tester stands. What elements were actually eye-catching? Even though the eye shadows with the more earthy, natural colors were the bestsellers, we still always included strong, somewhat more crazy colors, such as blue, green, even red or yellow. This was to create interest, and make the earthy colors look even more interesting. If we excluded the bright colors, the palette would look boring and less inspiring, meaning less interest and less sales… So I would say; Look at your spa retail selection just as a palette of eye shadows; Do you have some eye-catching products that create interest, that stands out and makes the whole shop more interesting? Maybe these items won’t be the bestsellers, but consider them as the once that attract interest, and inspires your guest.

Except for exciting retail items you have to consider the exposure, as it really affects profitability. Products given more space and clear exposure will sell more. You control which articles should be highlighted and which should only be available when customers ask for them. The products should be exposed in terms of their roles, meaning the products that you want to sell most of should have prominent positions; eye level is best for exposure!

Remember to always keep shelves fully stocked. Customers tend to not pick products from half empty shelves as they give the impression that these products are old and have been left over.

Another thought to consider when it comes to exposure is that most people are right handed. Therefore it is easier to pick and feel products that stand to the right. Therefore signs should be placed to the left and products placed to the right.

When you evaluate your retail space, ask yourself the following question or invite someone or several to answer these:

  • What is the first impression?
  • Can you see an “inspiration table” and a “volume table”? Are they inspiring? (A volume table means where you have promotions or display a specific product in larger quantities).
  • Are there prices on all products?
  • Do you have an exciting retail selection? Do you have spa and wellness releated products that are not just skin care products?
  • Do you have a tester stand? Can people try and feel the products? Are guests invited to test skin care products? Are the testers clean and fresh? Make it easy and clearly mark the bottles and tubes that are testers.

Retail is an absolutely vital part of a successful spa operation. In many cases it can be the difference between generating a profit or sustaining a loss. So it is essential that we constantly work with retail spaces to enhance and improve the areas. Today, spa retail revenue on average generates 5-25% of total spa revenue but represents 20-25% of total profit. Therefore, it is clear that by increasing retail revenue there can be a huge effect on overall spa profitability!

What is your best advice to boost retail sales when it comes to exposure and retail arrangements? Feel free to share your ideas!


Beautiful retail design at Cowshed. Picture borrowed from http://www.cowshed.com


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